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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ready to pull the trigger on my first grown up flotation device. I do like a hard boat, but the guys I know who own drift boat by and large say if they had it to do over again they'd look way more into getting a roundboat with a sweet frame.
Price capped around $5k which gives me about even value on a used raft or hardboat, assuming the raft comes with trailer. Most of the water I'll be using it on is SF Boise and places like that, i.e. Deschutes, Ronde, MF Salmon, Henry's, western montucky rivers.
Does anybody feel strongly one way or the other?
Brand recommendations besides the obvious?
Good leads on a vessel for sale?

As always, much appreciate you all's help and who knows, me owning a boat may benefit you someday.
 

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Get ready for 100 different answers.

I have both: 16' Clack and a 14' NRS.

I guess if you could only have one the answer is a raft. You can take a raft anywhere you take a hard boat but you can't take a hard boat anywhere you can take a raft.

But rowing and fishing out of a hard boat is way more comfortable.

Check the Bozeman/Missoula Craig's list. There seem to always be boats for sale around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get ready for 100 different answers.

I have both: 16' Clack and a 14' NRS.

I guess if you could only have one the answer is a raft. You can take a raft anywhere you take a hard boat but you can't take a hard boat anywhere you can take a raft.

But rowing and fishing out of a hard boat is way more comfortable.

Check the Bozeman/Missoula Craig's list. There seem to always be boats for sale around here.
How much do you need for the 14 footer?
 

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How much do you need for the 14 footer?
I bought mine 10 years ago and got a discount from an outfitter. So I'm kind of out of touch with pricing. But I bet you could get a basic set up (new) for around $5k. You'd still have to get a trailer so not sure that fits your budget.

Although I'd be cautious about buying used rubber, if you are patient you can find something decent that fits your budget.

I do like the 14' by the way. Perfect size for what you are talking about doing.
 

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1. Drift boats are WAY cooler than rafts. That's not just my opinion, that's indisputable fact. :)

2. Driftboats are better fishing platforms.

3. Driftboats work well on lakes too.

4. Rafts are better for adventures
Rafts can be put in the back of your truck and taken more places.

5 driftboats are easier to launch and store and require a lot less maintenance.
6. Drift boats are WAY cooler!!!
7. Buy a Clackacraft or a lavro.. Not a Hyde!
8. Buy a high side.
9. Buy a versatile boat I suggest the fly fishing bench model.
10 cataract oars!
 

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that's His Lordship, to you.....
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I decided to split the difference, with a 16WF Clack for hauling friends & family, but a Watermaster for me personally, so I can take a day and just get away without worrying about what's behind me on the road.
 

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No, but not much over budget:
https://missoula.craigslist.org/boa/5626614875.html

On the other hand, he should be able to pick up a used NRS or Trib w/ frame and trailer for under 5k pretty easily if he heads to the 406. @Swimmy, Isn't that your neck of the woods? Help the guy out, find him a good deal. ;)
Well it is only 40% over his budget but I guess $7k with trailer is ok. I still wouldn't pay that for a 13'er. If I'm getting a raft I want to be able to put the large cooler in the boat for multi-day trips. 14'er is the perfect size IMO if you only have one boat.

I agree with that NRS or Trib will probably better suited for his budget. I already suggested he hit up Craig's list in this area. But if I see something in the next couple of days I will bump the thread.
 

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Everything Rob Allen said.

I bought my first boat this winter. A mid 70's 16' wood drifter. I have put over 200 river miles on it in the last 5 months. The first couple drifts, while nothing too exciting happened, I was white knuckled more than I would have liked. Crossing a strong current seam sideways and almost putting the upstream gunwale underwater (twice). People in front moving from side to side can be really touchy in a 48" wide boat, with some people I am constantly saying "move an inch to your left, now half an inch to the right".... in a raft the load distribution doesn't matter nearly as much.

I feel like there are plenty of opportunities to flip or swamp a drift boat where you would just get hung up or spun around in a raft. Plus if a raft flips, you flip it back over and you're back in business.

I dont know much about your waters, but if they are commonly ran in a DB, I would say go for it. If there is a trip you are dying to do that isn't possible in a DB, you can always rent an oar raft.
 

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A Yeti 75 fits in the Green Drake frame, in the oarsman bay. There are a couple other coolers that fit as well, but for multi-day angling trips the Salmonfly is the better choice - although my buddy is taking his Green Drake on the MF Salmon for eight days with my group next week, so it can be done quite comfortably in either.

If the OP is considering more than just cost, here's some other factors:

- Streamtech boats and components are nearly 100% made in USA

- Private user 10-year warranty, 5 commercial

- Designed from the floor up as a Class V fishing craft, not a soft-floor raft with fishing frame strapped on top. Performance is why.

- Lower weight and highest quality materials and accessories, like standard Sawyer Square Top Counterbalanced oars.

It's worth the OP's time and budget to check one out on a demo float with Link on the SF Boise, or me on the Yakima, GR, etc.

Derek
 

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Get ready for 100 different answers.

I have both: 16' Clack and a 14' NRS.

I guess if you could only have one the answer is a raft. You can take a raft anywhere you take a hard boat but you can't take a hard boat anywhere you can take a raft.

But rowing and fishing out of a hard boat is way more comfortable.

Check the Bozeman/Missoula Craig's list. There seem to always be boats for sale around here.
this is your final answer stop reading now lol
 

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I like my cataraft, but have never owned a drift boat. This thread, based on title, will be won by a friend when she chimes in... @Freestone ...what's your boat recommendation?
 
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If you are going rubber, I much prefer a smaller raft. 13' super puma all the way. If you run out of space to lash down gear for a multi day trip you need to rethink your life choices. I know people that have lived out of watermasters for a month(s) in the backcountry. So much more responsive and fun to a row it's not even a question in my mind. A 14' raft is a nightmare and too wide and heavy for adventure angling. Have fun portaging that vessel.
 
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